Christmas acts of kindness

It’s Christmas Eve! Can you believe it’s already here? 🙂 I can’t! This Christmas season has gone SO fast for me and to be quite honest, I was in a pretty “grinchy” mood up until about a week ago! That was when I was stopped in the grocery store by a woman who had been the recipient of one of my Random Acts Of Kindness last Christmas. She happened to spy me in the store and made a point of tracking me down to tell me a story.

It seems the day I was inspired to give her some extra cash (Christmas Eve) was also the day her 3-year-old grandson had moved in with her. Sadly, her 27-year-old daughter had recently passed away from cancer and the father of the child wasn’t able to care for him any longer. She informed me that she hadn’t had the money to buy him any Christmas gifts and the extra cash had allowed her to do that.

I left the grocery store that day feeling happy and humbled. I was so happy to know that my RAOK had such a positive affect, and I was humbled that up until that moment I had temporarily forgotten the “true spirit” of Christmas. Ever since my chat in the grocery store my heart has been full of gratitude and the holiday season has been shiny and bright again!

This experience also reminded me why I love doing Random Acts of Kindness at Christmas! Even though it takes some initiative, planning, courage, and even a little faith…ROAK’s are a rewarding and memorable part of Christmas that I wouldn’t change for anything!

Instead of talking about me and my family’s Random Acts of Kindness this year….I thought I’d give you all some ideas and inspiration to start doing your own! I promise, if you take the time to do even ONE of the things on the list below, your Christmas will be made that much merrier!

40 Random Acts Of {Christmas} Kindness

  • Pay for someone’s layaway.
  • Pay for someone’s groceries behind you in line.
  • Take flowers to the nurse’s station at your local hospital – the nurses will know who needs them most.
  • Pay for the lunch of people behind you at a fast food restaurant or behind you in the drive thru.
  • Take lunch, cookies, or cupcakes to your local fire department and/or police department.
  • Donate stuffed animals to police and fire departments to use during emergencies to help calm frightened children.
  • Leave extra time in the parking meter or fill an expired or about to expire parking meter.
  • Put change in a row of vending machines.
  • Buy extra groceries for the local food bank.
  • Pick up the tab when dining out. Approach the waiter and pay when no one is watching.
  • Leave a nice waiter or waitress a generous tip.
  • Buy dessert for someone eating out alone.
  • Pick up the tab for a random table at a restaurant.
  • Tape cash or a gift card on a random gas pump.
  • Pay the toll for the person behind you.
  • Put sticky notes with positive messages in public places.
  • Sing Christmas Carols, play board games, or just visit with senior citizens at a nursing home.
  • Tape a plastic bag of quarters to a washer or dryer at the laundromat.
  • Purchase some extra dog or cat food and drop it off at an animal shelter.
  • Leave a $5 taped to the entrance of a car wash or tape a gift certificate for a free car wash to a stranger’s car.

  • Hand out gloves and mittens to the homeless, or leave them on park benches.
  • Bring coffee to construction workers, police on detail, or anyone working outside.
  • Pay for the coffee, the toll, or the bus fare for the person behind you.
  • Be understanding of traveling parents with the grumpy or noisy kids.
  • Sing an employee’s praises to a manager or on a comment card — a little recognition goes a long way.
  • Help someone load their groceries.
  • Offer to return someone’s shopping cart to the store.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line.
  • Leave a favorite book in a public place with a note that’s it’s free for the taking.
  • Hide a few dollar bills around the Dollar Store.
  • Volunteer an afternoon at a soup kitchen.
  • Paid past due library fees for 5 people and while there, put dollar bills in some of your favorite books.
  • Put a comment on someone’s webpage that you really like……let them know you enjoy it. 😉
  • Leave nice comments on Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Drop off a toy or game at a hospital or a homeless shelter.
  • Donate coloring books and boxes of new crayons to the pediatric wing of a hospital.
  • Leave a big bottle of laundry detergent at a laundromat.
  • Give a hot drink to the person ringing the Salvation Army bell.
  • Leave candy canes on the windshields of random cars.
  • Invite someone you suspect will be alone to spend your holiday celebrations with you.

How do you spread kindness at Christmas?

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Advice Christmas Holidays

It all seems so greedy.

I must confess that there are times when I feel like muttering some of my own, “Bah humbugs!”

What can we do?

Here’s an idea! Let’s turn Christmas around and upside down! We can make the season about GIVING rather than getting. Reaching out doesn’t have to be hard, but a simple act of kindness can make a huge difference.

I know this is a busy time of year for most families, so many of these suggestions are SIMPLE activities that are really EASY to do. There are a few that might take longer, so make sure you have room in your schedule before committing.

Related: Acts of Kindness For Families – An Age By Age Guide

22 of the Best Christmas Acts of Kindness

  1. Donate food to your food pantry. Take some time to explain why families might need to use a food bank and then go shopping together. Let the children pick out most of the items. Explain that you want to buy healthy food, but encourage your children to include a few treats as well. If possible have your children accompany you when you drop the food off at the food bank.
  2. Take supplies to an animal shelter.
  3. Save up some change and put it in the Salvation Army bucket.
  4. Give to your favorite charity. Choose one as a family and find a simple ways to raise the money. There are some suggestions here.
  5. Take part in a local charitable service such as Santa’s Anonymous or Toys For Tots.
  6. Deliver or donate blankets to those who sleep in the cold
  7. Alternately assemble blessing bags for the homeless – – If you don’t feel safe or comfortable delivering them yourself, take them to a shelter that helps the homeless.

Saying thank you

  1. Leave a gift for your mail carrier. How about these cute elf kisses or these treat bags.
  2. Have a family baking party and make your favorite treats. Then give them to people that work for the community, such as nurses, police, and fire-fighters.
  3. Write thank you notes to people who go all out to decorate their yard and house with lights. Thank them for lighting up the neighborhood.

Giving the gift of time

  1. Volunteer to help someone wrap gifts, perhaps an elderly neighbor who has stiff hands or a young parent that could use the help.
  2. Do yard work or shovel snow for a neighbor.
  3. If your family attends a religious service at Christmas you might also offer to drive others. There are many people without cars who would appreciate a warm ride to and from these events. Call the leaders of your religious institution to find out if they know of anyone who needs a ride.
  4. Invite a single person for a meal. The holiday season can be hard time of year for those who are alone. These might include international students, seniors with no family, or singles that can’t get home. Approach your church leaders, university chaplains, or student services groups to find out who might be facing the prospect of a lonely Christmas.
  5. Take a Christmas plant to someone who doesn’t get outside very much.
  6. Sing Christmas carols/songs for your neighbors.
  7. Offer Babysitting to young families. This time of year can be challenging for young parents. An afternoon of free baby-sitting can be godsend. You can do this as a family as most children enjoy looking after little ones for a short period of time.

Caring for the Earth

  1. Make or buy a bird feeder and start to feed to birds in the garden each day. If you have time, why not decorate a tree with edible treats for the birds?
  2. Make Christmas cards out of recycled art work and use them to write some notes to nursing home residents.

Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Candy cane bomb a parking lot. It’s simple! Just go around sticking candy canes and a note on car windshields for people to discover. Coffee Cups and Crayons has a free printable to help. Want something even simpler? Candy cane bomb your immediate neighbors!
  2. Make some adorable Penguin kindness rocks.
  3. Put together coloring book and crayons for children visiting the emergency room at the hospital.

Free Printable List

To make things easy for you I have created a printable list for you to use. Grab your free printable from the library .

Here’s a sneak preview

Download the list. You’ll get the free printable, plus join my bi-weekly newsletter! Just click here to subscribe and enter the library. Print out the list and keep it on your fridge as a reminder to include some kindness this December.

You could also read it through with your kids and ask them to choose a couple of ideas.

The countdown to Christmas can be a wonderful time for families. It is a chance to make memories and have fun together. Adding in some acts of kindness will turn this holiday into a time of giving and that is a powerful way to ward off the gimme monsters.

Your Turn

How will your family give to others this December? Have you found ways to make this holiday into a time of giving? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Did you enjoy this post? Was it helpful? Please share and tell a friend! Drop me a comment if you’re going to try some of these tips. Bonus points if you leave a comment!

Christmas is the time to give back, and that’s exactly what these people did this year. Read these random acts of kindness that will melt your heart. We dare you not to cry…

Landlord gives struggling tenants a rent-free month
A landlord, known only as ‘Jack’, decided to let his tenants have the month of December rent-free, so that they could spend the extra, much-needed money on their family. He shared the news in a heartwarming note, which was left in their mailbox.

It read:

‘Mike – I know you guys have been having trouble being between jobs and I just wanted to thank you for always being current on the rent, so my gift for you and yours is that I’m waiving your December rent so you can give your family a good and decent Christmas this year. We’ll just pick it back up in January.
Merry Christmas – Jack’

The woman who turned into Santa
Kate Phillips (pictured above) is giving back to the community during her free time with the Christmas Smile Project, which aims to give Christmas presents to children living in difficult circumstances. It also offers Christmas food hampers to families struggling to buy food, and gifts to elderly residents spending the holidays alone.

The woman who helped a homeless man
When Dominique Harrison-Bentzen tried to get home after a night out in Preston, Lancashire, she realised she had no money for a taxi. A homeless man, Robbie, offered her his last £3 to make sure she got home safe. The next day she shared her story on Facebook and found out she wasn’t the only person he’d helped. So to thank him, she lived rough for 24 hours to raise awareness of homelessness and set up the #PrestonHomelessHero funding project for Robbie so he could have enough money for a flat deposit. It has so far raised over £20,000.

The group of family and friends who wrote and recorded a Christmas song to raise money for Cancer Research
The group called Just Crackers have released Hey Hey It’s Christmas, with all proceeds from the song downloads going to Cancer Research. They say ‘We have had too many family and friends who have been affected by cancer in recent months and years and we wanted to do something fun and positive to make a difference.’ To donate, . You can also donate to the group’s Just Giving page.

The policemen who made this woman’s Christmas
A grandmother in Alabama was caught stealing eggs from a supermarket because she couldn’t afford them, having not received the welfare money to support her family of six. They hadn’t eaten since the previous week. What did the police do? They bought her a box of eggs (the ones she stole had broken in her pocket), as well as enough shopping to see her through the festive period.

The man whose year is dedicated to kindness
When his family friend Maura passed away last year, Luke Cameron decided to do an act of kindness every single day for a year in her memory, and document them in his Good Deed Diary. These included buying someone’s lunch for them, buying flowers for an unlucky friend and giving out toys to children.

The woman who bought strangers’ Christmas gifts
In Massachusetts, a mystery woman decided to pay for every single item customers had reserved at Toys ’R’ Us for Christmas, reportedly costing her around £12,000. She wished to remain anonymous, saying she would ‘sleep better at night’ after the kind gesture.

Share your acts of kindness with us @GHmagazine

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Easy ways to give to charity this Christmas
Countdown to Christmas: Charity donations
More from Good Housekeeping

For 2015 we have printables with baubles on!

Kindness can cost nothing and I want to raise the MiniMads to always be kinder than they need to be and feel that focusing on acts of kindness during Advent it will be a great learning experience and also spread some joy.

Our kindness mission statement:

  • Spread the word – encourage other people to join in and become happiness heroes
  • Have fun and enjoy making other people happy
  • To be kinder than you need to be

Last year we loved Anna from The Imagination Trees Kindness Elves and this would be a great list to use for that. Alternately you could pick which works for you and add it to an advent calendar or pop them all in a jar (like we do with our Bored Jar) and pick one out each day.

Don’t miss our 2015 post with fab new printable and ideas

50 Acts of Kindness by Kids for Advent

  1. Donate a coat or jumper to charity (leaving a happy note in the pocket)
  2. Donate to the local food bank
  3. Make christmas cards for your neighbours
  4. Leave change in the vending machine
  5. Sort through your toys and donate any that you no longer play with to charity or your local church
  6. Leave chalk messages around where you live
  7. Sharpen all the pencils in the classroom at breaktime
  8. Write a letter to your sibling telling them why you love them
  9. Leave a beautiful homemade bookmark in your library book and give one to the Librarian
  10. Leave the pound in the shopping trolley next time you go to the supermarket
  11. Deliver cookies to your neighbours
  12. Tidy your bedroom
  13. Write a note and mail them to the houses with great christmas lights saying thank you for lighting up their house for you to see
  14. Sit next to someone you normally don’t at the lunch table and be nice to them
  15. Be a holiday helper – volunteer to deliver local christmas cards
  16. Make a bird feeder
  17. Send a care package to someone in the military
  18. Find three of your toys to give to the local childrens hospital
  19. Pass on some of your books to friends
  20. Give a lottery ticket to a stranger
  21. Donate books to your school library
  22. Leave out water for the birds
  23. Write thank you cards for your teacher, coach, Cubs leader or people that have influenced you in a positive way
  24. Clean up the area where you live by picking up litter. Make sure you wear gloves and do it with an adult.
  25. Help round the house without being asked to
  26. Donate pet food to a local shelter
  27. Put together a shoebox for your local church
  28. Write a thank you note for the bin collectors and post person
  29. Wash your parents car
  30. Give a homeless person a blanket
  31. Deice your neighbours windshields in the morning
  32. Take everyone in your class a candy cane or cookie
  33. Take poinsettias to your nearest nursing home
  34. Make a christmas card for the school receptionist
  35. Offer to help an elderly friend or neighbour with their christmas decorations
  36. Make christmas flowers for the reception at school
  37. Make a thank you card for the school crossing staff
  38. Cook dinner for your family
  39. Offer to pack the shopping bags of the person in front of you and behind you at the supermarket
  40. Invite a new friend for a play date or out to play
  41. Walk someone elses dog
  42. Give out a complement
  43. Give out free hugs today
  44. Hold the door open for people all day
  45. Smile all day
  46. Let someone go in front of you in a queue
  47. Introduce yourself to someone new at school and chat with them
  48. Ring an elderly relative and have a nice chat to them
  49. Make a tree decoration for your baby sitter
  50. Dontae this weeks pocket money to charity

Like them? The Purple Pumpkin and I have been working on some fab free printable for you with these on, including christmas tree and gift tag labels in both A4 and letter size.

Free Advent Acts of Activity Printables

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We’ve been counting down to Christmas with Random Acts of Christmas Kindness for a couple years now, and I have to say it has been amazing for our family!

We are excited to do it again this year because it’s been such a great way to slow down and focus on the joy of giving, rather than just receiving during the holiday season.

We have found that focusing on kindness for others each day helps banish so many of the I wants that often come around this time of year.

25 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

  1. Tape change to a vending machine for a stranger to find.
  2. Hand out a compliment card.
  3. Donate food to your local food pantry.
  4. Make a thank you card for your mail carrier.
  5. Candy cane bomb a parking lot.
  6. Take supplies to an animal shelter.
  7. Put change in the Salvation Army bucket.
  8. Send a hug in the mail.
  9. Pick up litter.
  10. Leave a popcorn surprise at the DVD rental machine.
  11. Write a Smile It Forward note for a friend or family member.
  12. Donate toys to charity.
  13. Pay for a stranger’s coffee.
  14. Make a gift for your teacher.
  15. Do yard work for a neighbor.
  16. Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  17. Feed the birds with a candy cane bird food ornament.
  18. Make a sweet treat for your mailman.
  19. Do a chore for someone.
  20. Smile at everyone you see.
  21. Pass out stickers to kids waiting in line.
  22. Make a card for a neighbor.
  23. Thank your sanitation worker with a yard sign.
  24. Leave kindness stones in the park.
  25. Sing Christmas carols for your neighbors.

Download 25 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness {FREE PRINTABLE}

Hang the list of 25 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness on your refrigerator and do one each day until Christmas! You’ll be thrilled with how intentionally focusing on kindness each day make the holiday season so much more fun.

DIY Advent Calendar for Kids

Would you like your kids to have an even more hands on approach to Random Acts of Christmas Kindness?

Then you’ll LOVE making this DIY Christmas Advent Calendar with them.

This fun and festive advent wreath is easy to make and will brighten up any room you hang it in!

Your family can definitely use this DIY advent calendar as a creative way to keep track of your random acts of Christmas kindness, while ALSO counting down the days till Christmas.

After you follow the detailed tutorial on how to make this beautiful wreath, you’ll also get access to some free printables!

Learn how you can make this DIY Christmas Advent Calendar Wreath HERE.

Are you looking for some more fun Christmas activities for your kids to enjoy? Then take a peek at these 75 Ornaments Kids Can Make.

Join our Facebook page for even more holiday fun!

Let’s all do Random Acts of Kindness all year long. Last year we started a Christmas Kindness tradition with a Kindness Advent calendar leading up to Christmas day, and it was a huge success. This year we are adding small ways to spread holiday cheer and Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. Everyone will be happy as you spread a little kindness around your town. You can print this free kindness printable out and start spreading kindness today.

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness List Printable

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

Easy Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for the Holidays

1. Say “thank you.”

2. Bake cookies for police officers

3. Sign up to ring bells for Salvation Army

4. Deliver gifts to shelters

5. Go caroling

6. Offer to wrap gifts for others

7. Offer to take elderly shopping

8. Donate to Toys for Tots

9. Help a friend clean

10. Visit and offer to decorate nursing homes

11. Volunteer or simply donate to a local food pantry

12. Donate to a giving tree or angel tree

13. Give up your spot in line

14. Send cards to military

15. Participate in Operation Christmas Child

16. Pick up someone else’s tab at a restaurant

17. Invite a friend to Christmas dinner

18. Donate supplies to a pet shelter

19. Grab coffee for the school crossing guards

20. Help someone load/unload groceries

21. Donate coloring books to a children’s hospital

22. Pay for someone’s layaway

23. Bring cookies to a local organization

24. Leave a treat for your mailman

25. Deliver random acts of kindness treats

Encourage Kids to Carry Out Daily Acts of Kindness with The Kindness Elves. The Kindness Elves create a sense of wonder and excitement in children making them want to sprinkle kindness everywhere they go.

Taking time to do these Acts of Christmas Kindness this month can truly help create a happier world where others feel the desire to do the same.

Download Your Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Printable Below

Click Here to Download Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Printable

I recommend using a Laminator and Laminating Pouches. It keeps your papers usable and looking great for years. You can laminate this acts of kindness printable and post it on the refrigerator making it easy for your family to do something kind for someone else every day.

I hope you enjoyed these random acts of kindness ideas for Christmas. Feel free to leave us a comment below if you have other great RAOK ideas. Your comments make our day.

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Random Acts of Christmas Kindness will help you focus on the real meaning of the season while making precious family memories. Join us!

Our hearts raced as we drove back around the corner, trying not to be seen. The scene was a hit-and-run delivery gone wrong. Our friend’s van unexpectedly backed out of the driveway as we were about to pull in for the drop. We had attempted to plan it for when she was picking up the kids from preschool, but obviously, she was running late that day.

We drove around the next street over one more time just to make sure the coast was clear. When I pulled into the driveway, my oldest jumped out of the car in her finest camo gear and snuck stealthily toward the door. She dropped the package on the shiny new Christmas mat and was back in the car before anyone was the wiser.

We drove out of the neighborhood and back toward home, still trying to catch our breath from the excitement of nearly being caught. It was a moment of silence I’ll never forget.

And then bursts of laughter filled the van as if we had just spotted a tower of presents on Christmas morning. The kids squealed with delight, imagining their friends opening up the bag of treats and trinkets we had left for them.

Table of Contents

The birth of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Tradition

And that was the moment I knew this was one family Christmas tradition we would never give up. The joy of giving to someone else had changed everything about the way Christmas had been going in our family. Gone were the days of lying around on the floor with a toy catalog and a giant wish list. Instead, you would find us jabbering about what our unsuspecting victims might do when they discovered our gift and who would get “RACK’ed” next.

Since that first year, we have “bombed” cars in parking lots with candy canes and treated random strangers to vending machine snacks in the ER waiting room. We’ve snuck gas cards into friends’ purses at church and we’ve bought hot chocolate for the Salvation Army bell ringers.

Recently I asked my children if they could remember a favorite from all of the years so far. We sat for quite some time sharing memories of all the fun things we had done and I marveled at the simplicity of their favorites.

What was originally an attempt to find a fun tradition that would get their minds off the materialism became a legacy of blessing we would cherish in our hearts for years to come. You see, the Bible isn’t wrong about that giving thing. It really IS more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). And so we continue to “RACK” people every Christmas, always looking for new ways to give away that love Jesus came to earth to offer us!

Want to join us this year?

This has been such a blessing to our family that I wanted to find a way to help others do it as well. So, I’m sharing step-by-step instructions for how we make it work and even some printables to make the “job” easier.

From RAK to RACK (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness)

The idea of RAK has actually been around for a long time. RAK stands for Random Acts of Kindness. There is even an organization, website, and a week in February devoted to RAK. I’m not really sure who thought to add the “C” into the mix and do it at Christmas, but it clearly was a wonderful idea.

You are probably familiar with RAK, or the idea of “paying it forward.” You simply do something nice–at random. Well, random for the unsuspecting receiver, that is. The giver often has to plan ahead at least a little to make this happen. The action could be anything from buying someone’s lunch at the drive-thru to bringing in the trash can for a neighbor. The point is to take a moment and do something kind for someone else.

Supplies for RACK (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness)

Technically, you don’t need anything. You could just resolve right now to do one nice thing every single day in December. But if you are anything like me, that resolution will fail within a few days. I have to be more intentional. So, I created some little “You’ve been RACK’ed” cards and a list of ideas. These have really simplified the process.

The “You’ve been RACK’ed” cards will be attached to whatever we are giving to the person who is blessed with our gift that day. As far as the items themselves, the sky is the limit. I love Hobby Lobby, but dollar bins at other stores can be a great resource, too. Here are a few of the things I try to grab up:

  • White paper sacks
  • Cellophane bags (I usually buy Christmas ones, but clear works, too)
  • Washi tape (we love red, green, and Christmas themes)
  • Candy canes
  • Chapstick (one of our favorite gifts to tape on for outdoor workers)
  • Small gift cards
  • Candles
  • Bath bombs (buy these in bags and split them up)
  • Hot cocoa (this set is really fun)

You can find more ideas on the checklist for things you might want to purchase. The first two to three items will give you a great head start.

One thing I want to mention: The budget should NEVER be a hindrance for doing this.

The first year we did this, I was a single mom with four kiddos and an income of less than $15,000 a year. We bought two big boxes of candy canes and handed out some loose coins. Our total budget was $10 that year. Over the years, we’ve grown the budget exponentially, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

A small blessing speaks volumes to the hearts of those around you. Even if it’s just a few quarters for the vending machine.

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACK) Game Plan

Step one: pick your days. We generally do random acts of Christmas kindness every day in December until Christmas, so 25 days. If we are out of town, we do it there. You could plan to do it any number of days you wish, though. You could do it every other day or even just three times a week until Christmas. It’s totally up to you.

But whatever you choose, please don’t let guilt set in if you let your goal slip by. It happens. We all miss a day and it will be ok. It’s a busy time of year and this isn’t supposed to be something that makes us feel guilty. Remember the purpose and just pick up where you left off.

Step two: pick your budget. Don’t let this part keep you from doing it. Yes, you are going to need a little money to make this happen. At the very least, you need to print off the cards. If money is really tight, buy a couple boxes of candy canes to attach to the cards and then just make it a habit to bless someone every day. Total cost would be less than $5.

If you can spare $25, then you can spend $1 a day to bless someone. If you have $125, you can spend $5 a day. Just remember, you can’t out-give God. Be generous and enjoy this!

For me, the amount we spend has varied greatly over the years. I don’t usually set a daily amount, as some days we will give something that is less than a dollar (such as money taped to the vending machine for a soda). Other days, we might give a $10 gas card or even a week’s groceries for a family in need. Generally, I look at the budget and decide how much money I have and then choose a few big things to do and fill in the rest from there.

My kids have even started saving for this, too. I love seeing them investing in a blessing for someone else! This year, one of my kids thought we should take laundry soap and a new basket to the laundromat along with the quarters we usually take. I love that idea!

Step three: pick the acts you would like to do. I’ve provided a list of 59 ideas. Some are very open-ended and can be used multiple times, like blessing different neighbors on different days. Of course, you will probably think of some on your own, too.

I try to think about the week in advance and consider what opportunities might lay ahead. For example, if we are going to be near church for an errand, I might bring something to drop off for our church office staff. If I know that we will have dinner out, I will plan to give something to the waiter or delivery driver.

Because I know you are wondering, no, I don’t plan the whole 25 days in advance. It’s just too hard for me to know what opportunities we might have. We do usually make up some bags and have them ready to deliver at a moment’s notice though. Typically, we go shopping on Thanksgiving weekend and put these together.

Whatever you pick, I will tell you this… if you don’t plan something, you probably won’t do much. So, get some ideas together and just run with them.

Setting up your Printables

“You’ve been RACK’ed” Cards:

You will want to print these out on cardstock so you can hand them out. Once these are printed and cut, I usually put them together with the items we are giving away. I also keep a stash in my car in case an opportunity arises, like buying coffee/lunch at a drive-thru. Just having them in the car makes it easy to be random and spontaneous.

Checklist or Action Cards:

Because I know that everyone likes choices, we’ve given you one. You might choose to cut out your activity cards and put them in a cute basket or jar like I do. Then you can dig through and pick the day’s RACK. Or you can even pick one out at random. I usually save them each year and add more as we think of them.

If that seems daunting, you might prefer a checklist. We’ve got you covered. You can just print the checklist and throw it up on the fridge. As you complete an item, simply mark it off.

What are your Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Ideas?

And that’s it. You are ready to go out and spread some Christmas kindness. I’m praying that your family makes amazing memories as you bless the socks off the people in your community. You may never know the beauty of the seed it plants in their heart!

If you have some ideas we haven’t thought of, comment below. Or better yet, post them on social media! Be sure to tag us @KimSorgius on Instagram and use our hashtag #notconsumed so we don’t miss it!

P.S. If you happen to be a local friend of mine, please pretend you didn’t read this post, just in case you get RACK’ed!

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Random Acts of Kindness Suggestions To Get You Started

It’s easy to get caught up in the “getting” at Christmas time. Yet we all know it can be far more meaningful to focus on the “giving”. If your intention is to raise children who are grateful, compassionate, and who think of others, then read on to find out how to get involved with Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.

The Kindness Revolution

I came across the concept of random acts of kindness several years ago through Jono Fisher’s Wake Up Project. I was introduced to his breathtakingly simple, yet incredibly powerful Kindness Cards as a recipient. Waiting in line for a coffee, a stranger anonymously and randomly paid for my cappuccino. It showed me first hand the power of a simple gesture. It really made my day and the feeling of that first random act of kindness has stayed with me. As a result, I’ve now paid it forward multiple times. Each time reaffirming my belief that small acts of kindness can change the world.

Christmas is the perfect time to start a new family tradition and teach your children the value of gratitude and kindness to others.

24 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness is about setting a challenge for your family to experience a different type of advent calendar. Rather than getting a daily chocolate treat behind a little cardboard door, you and your children can brainstorm ways to give to others in the lead up to Christmas. Your children will learn first-hand that even a small gesture can have a positive impact. Plus most of all, they’ll feel great knowing they are contributing to the happiness of others.

AND if 24 acts seems like too much, do what you feel is achievable for your family. Even carrying out 5 or 10 random acts of Christmas kindness is a great start.

Planning Your Random Acts

Plenty of the random acts of kindness below can be carried out as a family, enabling children to participate directly in the random act experience. While other suggestions are for parents to role-model kind/ giving behaviour to their children. These can provide an opportunity to start conversations with your children about different ways we can give to others and be more community-minded.

Plus, many ideas are completely free or minimal cost, so you don’t need to worry about breaking the budget!

Pay for someone else’s coffeeDonate food to a local foodbank

  1. Let someone go ahead of you in a line
  2. Pay for someone else’s coffee
  3. Donate food to your local foodbank/emergency relief (coffee, tea, long-life milk, cereal, tinned fruit, pasta, baby food pouches, biscuits, jars of meal bases are all useful items)
  4. Help a neighbour with a chore or an errand
  5. Give a homeless person a blanket

Give flowers to a strangerPick up rubbish

  1. Give flowers to a stranger
  2. Donate toys to the children’s hospital
  3. Bring breakfast/coffee for your teachers
  4. Smile at everyone you see
  5. Compliment a stranger
  6. Pick up 5 items of rubbish at your local park / beach / bushwalk
  7. Visit residents in an aged care facility (with a small gift and a smile)
  8. Paint kindness rocks with positive messages and hide at your local park

Paint kindness rocks Fulfill a wishing tree request

  1. Fulfil a giving / wishing tree request at your local shopping centre
  2. Tape change to a vending machine for a stranger to find
  3. Take supplies to an animal shelter (dog treats, towels, blankets, cat litter etc), like Blacktown City Animal Holding Facility, Animal Welfare League NSW or Monika’s Doggie Rescue
  4. Hold the door open for people
  5. Write a note to a friend thanking them for their friendship
  6. Offer your seat on the bus/ train to another person
  7. Give handmade Christmas cards to your neighbours
  8. Leave water out for birds

Thank you notes for Christmas light displays Draw a picture for your sibling

  1. Write a letter (or draw a picture) for your sibling telling them why you love them
  2. Send notes to the houses with great Christmas lights thanking them for lighting up their house
  3. Leave a friendly note in a library book
  4. Look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment
  5. Leave a gold coin in a shopping trolley for the next shopper to find
  6. Donate the “free” coffee on your cafe loyalty card to the person behind you in line
  7. Make a new friend at school by inviting someone you don’t normally play with to join your game
  8. Offer to wash your neighbour’s car

Leave a gold coin in a shopping trolley Wash your neighbour’s car

  1. Give away things you no longer need on a local “pay it forward” Facebook page
  2. Donate blood and register as an organ donor (adults only of course, but include your children in the conversation about the reasons you’re doing it)
  3. Send a care parcel to deployed Defence personnel
  4. Make a bird feeder
  5. Donate books to a local street library – there are over 80 from Ryde to Blacktown!

Street library outside Rydalmere Public School

  1. Give a local small business you have enjoyed a glowing online review
  2. Pay for the person behind you in a fast-food drive-thru
  3. Volunteer as a charity gift-wrapper.
  4. Say “good morning” and “hello” to people as you walk along the street
  5. Leave chalk messages around where you live
  6. Give out free hugs today

Got some more ideas? Please share!

FREE Kindness Advent Calendars

You can also find free kindness advent calendars online to download. Here are some examples:

  • Make Today Happy
  • Silly Being Molly
  • Families Online UK

The Ultimate Guide to Random Acts of Kindness

Advent is upon us, and there are all sorts of fabulous ways to celebrate and prepare for the coming of our Savior. Like past years, we’ll light our Advent wreath each night and reflect on the mysteries of the season, count down to Christmas with Logan’s, Molly’s, and Trevor’s new toy Advent calendars, and read a new book together each night before we pray.

This year, we’ll finally incorporate something I’ve wanted to do for a few years, and just haven’t taken the time to make happen. Each day of Advent, beginning this weekend, the kids and I {and Brian when he’s able} will “commit” at least one Random Act of Kindness {RAK} and then talk about it together over dinner.

While I have some definite ideas of what we’ll be doing to spread joy to our local community, family, friends, neighbors, and strangers, I’m open to new ideas, and have been checking out the many ways others have spread kindness over the past years and seasons. I have a Pinterest board that I’ll be adding to, and I’ve compiled here – to share along with iHomeschool Network’s 25 Days of Christmas Blog Hop – The Ultimate Guide to Random Acts of Kindness.

Inspiration

As I was searching the web {like any good researcher/blogger/mama does before beginning a new project}, I came across lots of wonderfully inspiring posts that shared a family’s {or individual’s} own acts of kindness. To kick off , and get us all in the spirit, I share some here:

  • Jenn from Daze of Adventure spent her birthday one year sharing kindness with others. I adore how her whole family got into it.
  • On her 32nd birthday, Katie from It’s Hue I Love performed an act of kindness per year, and encouraged her friends to do the same in honor of her special day, then text her about it.
  • Birthdays seem to be a theme, and Kendra at Southern Disposition was no different. On her 30th birthday, she and her daughter went out to do 30 intentional acts of kindness. As I reread this post before linking here, I had to wipe my eyes a few times. Grab a tissue before clicking.
  • Kimberly from Hello My Name is Kimberly shares the 29 “Random Acts of Kimberly” she did in NYC when she turned 29.
  • On her birthday, the blogger at What a Ride shared RAK with people around her community.
  • Robyn from Mix Mingle Glow seems to have gotten the birthday party started with her 38 Acts of Robyn. I just love the photography here.
  • Fabulous pictures and a printable accompany this inspiring post from Lindsey at Pillow Thought about the Random Acts of Christmas Kindness she and her family made happen.

Planning Your RAK

Now that you’re inspired {and realizing that Advent begins THIS weekend}, here are some amazing lists, ideas, printables, and other resources to help you plan your RAK Attacks:

  • Last year, The Koetting Family brainstormed this list of fun things they could do as a family.
  • Marci Coombs posts a fun service scavenger hunt her youth group did last summer that could easily be adapted for Christmas Kindnesses.
  • I absolutely adore the 100+ ways your family can make a difference shared by We Are That Family.
  • Ticia from Adventures in Mommydom shares a few wonderful acts of service she and her kids have done.
  • In her 2011 series about instilling values in children, Cindy at Our Journey Westward shares some service projects and ideas that can be added to the list you’re compiling.
  • After asking her readers for ideas, one of my favorite bloggers, Kris from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers compiled 50 RAK ideas you can just print and use!
  • At the site Christmas Your Way, you can print an Advent calendar ready-to-go with enough Random Acts of Kindness to get you through the season without a lot of preplanning.
  • Kristy’s Corner shares a list of ideas to get you started on RACK {Random Acts of Christmas Kindness}.
  • An editorial in the Livingston County News shares some more ideas for RACK.
  • Angela at Every Day Road to Healthy shares a tutorial for creating a RACK Advent calendar out of toilet paper rolls and colorful scrapbook paper, and includes ideas for each day.
  • I love this Secret Service activity from The Fickle Pickle – I think I’ll hold it in reserve for a summertime revisit to RAK.
  • Out for a run one day, “Nice Guy” found a folded piece of paper that had a note on it – “Pick me up – I’m Yours”.” Inside was a $100 bill with another note, “This is for you, hope you have a wonderful day.” He was inspired to use it to bless others $2 at a time. This shares some of his actions.
  • Courtney at Lil Light O Mine has you covered with tons of ideas, pictures, and printables to help you “Light Up” your community with Christmas kindness.
  • Amy from Mama Scout “kind bombed” the library with her kids by having them write and hide messages of encouragement and praise in children’s books.
  • Here are 25 more ideas for you to choose from by Kristina at A Faithful Walk.
  • Tracie from TSJ Photography shares photos, printables, and ideas for your own RACK celebrations.
  • Katherine Marie from Katherine Marie’s Photography shares her simple Advent RACK countdown along with each of the missions she and her children performed throughout the month. I love the sweet gift bags holding each numbered mission.

Celebrate with Us

So, what do you do with all of this inspiration and practical know-how?

You act – plain and simple.

While it may look like we’re crazy-busy to those who know us or read this blog, what we really are is crazy-blessed:

  • We are healthy, happy, clothed, fed, and loved.
  • We have more than we need, and enjoy each other’s company.
  • We are preparing for the celebration of our Savior’s birth, and the birth of another little Kessler.
  • We are learning to appreciate what we have, and share our blessings with those who are not as fortunate.
  • We are also learning to be more purposeful in cultivating a servant’s heart – all of us: me, Brian, Trevor, Molly, and Logan.
  • We are called to serve.

We’re using Advent this year – and the accountability of the blog – to share our own Random Acts of Kindness with others, though some of our activities will be intentional on our part, we’re hoping that they feel random and special to those we are able to bless.

Some of the things the kids and I have decided to do {in no particular order} are:

  • Bring cookies to our Priest on this first Sunday of Advent – with enough to share with all of the amazing people who work so hard to make our parish amazing.
  • Visit with two of Brian’s aunts {on separate days} and bring them lunch and sweet treats.
  • Leave inexpensive toys for our new neighborhood friends inside their screen door when they’re not home so we can stay anonymous.
  • Tape quarters to any candy machines we run across.
  • Hide dollar bills in Target’s Dollar Spot and in the toy aisle of The Dollar Tree.
  • Buy a dozen Mylar balloons at The Dollar Tree and pass them out to kids at area stores and restaurants.
  • Go to Chik-fil-A for lunch {a RAK from me to the kids} and before we leave buy ice cream for any kids that are there.
  • Bake treats and take them to the police station with thank you cards for the service our officers provide.
  • Visit my brother-in-law at the fire station when he’s working {shhh!} and bring enough cookies and snacks for him and his buddies.
  • Write chalk messages on neighbor’s driveways.
  • Buy a big bouquet of flowers at the wholesale club, then give one each to random shoppers and workers.
  • Buy coffee for outside workers we come across.
  • Deliver flowers to the nurses at our local hospital while dropping off coloring books and crayons to various waiting rooms.
  • Make cards for nursing home residents and deliver them.
  • Send some Christmas cards to soldiers.
  • Run out on trash day with warm cocoa and a gift for our trash collector.
  • Tape a treat and a card to our mailbox for our mailman.
  • Host a few “playdates” so parents of our kids’ friends can go Christmas shopping in peace.
  • Visit the kids’ pediatrician and bring cookies for the whole staff.
  • Do something special for our favorite pediatric dentist.
  • Hold doors for people at stores.
  • Donate toys and clothes to a shelter.
  • Go to the animal shelter to donate food and toys for the dogs and cats, and pet a few.
  • Keep a “RAK” Basket” in the car with cards {we’ll use the printable below – feel free to use it or one from the lists above}, tape, quarters, candy bars, and other miscellaneous items for situations that come up as we get in the habit of spreading kindness.

I’m looking forward to this adventure of giving. Want to follow along – or better yet, join us? I’ll share a wrap-up post on Friday or Saturday each week during Advent to let you know how we did with our Random Acts of Kindness. I’ll also be sharing via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Feel free to check out our posts and pictures, and add your own comments and links to things you’re doing. I’d love to share in your kindnesses as well.

Be sure to follow along on the 25 Days of Christmas Blog Hop, too. It’s amazing how interrelated the ideas actually are. Maybe you could host a movie night to share one of the Ultimate Christmas Movies with some friends, or pull one of the Ultimate Christmas Books off the shelf of your local library or bookstore and read to the children in the area. Any of the other “Ultimate” Christmas posts may inspire amazing acts of kindness – for you to use to bless others in the community, or in your own home.

Whatever you choose to do, remember the reason we celebrate Christmas and how important the preparation of Advent is. Prepare your heart and those of your children, and you’ll be blessed beyond your dreams. Rest in and enjoy this season.

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Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.

Latest posts by Colleen Kessler

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